History of WVVA - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

History of WVVA


WVVA-TV began as WHIS-TV which debuted July 31, 1955. Call letters of WHIS (the initials of former owner, Senator Hugh Ike Shott) were carried over from WHIS Radio to the first television service in Bluefield West Virginia. On September 26, the first NBC network program, The Pinky Lee Show, was broadcast. The Daily Telegraph Printing Company constructed a privately-owned microwave relay system to bring the NBC network signal from Roanoke, Virginia, the closest city receiving network signals. By February 1956, the telecast schedule of Channel 6 was expanded to 16-hour viewing days.

On January 1, 1967, WHIS moved into a new facility on Route 460 and began full color operation. The new facility was named Broadcast Center and featured such local favorites as Scoop and Snoop and the legendary March of Dimes Telerama, a fund raiser highlighting local area talent.

In April of 1975, the FCC issued a Divestiture Order. The FCC ruled that a newspaper could not own or operate an AM/FM station, newspaper, and television station in the same market. One property would have to be divested. The decision was made to sell WHIS-TV.

In 1979, WHIS-TV was sold to Quincy Newspapers, Inc. and became WVVA Television, Inc. The call letters were chosen to create a bond between the West Virginia and Virginia viewers of Channel 6.

WVVA remains one of the strongest NBC affiliates in the country and continually averages 35 + shares in the mountainous 10 county Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill market. WVVA-TV has made local news, weather, and sports the mission of WVVA.

We believe it is our responsibility to actively serve our communities. We do that by listening to their needs, participating in their lives, and by providing them with information vital to making informed decisions. WVVA Television, Inc. and its staff donate thousands of dollars, in addition to free air time. Employees also volunteer many hours to various community charities, club, and local schools.

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